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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [08.07.06]
Manufactured by: Intel


Real World Prices

Delaying our review has allowed us to use actual retail pricing for the following information. To make the following chart, I took the average price of all processors that were available in stock a the four leading computer e-tailers (, ZZF, TigerDirect, and mWave). This should represent a good sample of what to expect when shopping around - actual prices you find may be lower or higher than these, and some stores may have some processors in stock, while others will not. Some stores had a good selection of Core 2 processors in stock, while not having many AMD AM2 processors, while other stores were the other way around.

Note that the Athlon 64 X2 5000+ was not available at any of these stores, so it was not included.

As you can see, prices ramp up very slowly, up until the E6600. The 5000+, when it finally becomes available, is listed by AMD to be sold at $359.99, which puts it slightly above the E6600.

Heat Output

I don't even have to make a chart to show heat output - All Conroe and Allendale based processors are specified to out put 65W TDP. Conroe XE puts out 75W. Equivalent AMD processors are specified at 125W (FX-62) and 89W for the X2 3800-5000+. Keep in mind that in no way are these numbers directly comparable, due to the fact that each company measures TDP differently.

AMD is set to come out with some "Energy Efficient" versions of their X2 processors on the AM2 platform. These processors were announced with the original AM2 launch back in May, but still have yet to show up in stores. They should be about $20-30 more than their respective more power-hungry cousins, but will boast a TDP of no more than 65W.

The Platform

Platforms for the Core 2 Duo seems a bit iffy at the moment. Although the CPUs are based on an LGA 775 layout, they are not guaranteed to be compatible with every LGA 775 motherboard. For one thing, all new Core 2 Duo chips run on a 1006 MHz FSB. The chipsets that officially support Core 2 Duo are Intel's 975X, and NVIDIA's SLI X16 chipsets. However whether the motherboard based on these chipsets will work will vary. Some boards will require a new BIOS, while others will require a whole new hardware revision. For instance, I had a D975XBX on hand from the last Intel CPU launch. That board was revision 102 - it simply cannot provide the correct voltage to Conroe chips. Intel sent a new D975XBX along with the Conroe chips - this was revision 104. There are hardmods out there which add Conroe support to board revisions prior to 104, but I wouldn't dare attempt such a thing unless you're experienced in electronics.

Intel was supposed to launch the new 965 series of chipsets alongside the new processors this week, but they had problems with them. You may be able to find a 965P board out there, but 965G (with integrated graphics) apparently had to be recalled. NVIDIA and ATI both have chipsets coming out that officially support Conroe. These should be out in a few weeks' time.

Just be sure to check with your manufacturer whether your board supports Core 2 Duo, and remember that it may require a whole new hardware revision to work.

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